The school board will decide how the property can best help the growing east Montgomery County town and its students, Stone said. The town purchased the facility and accompanying 26 acres last fall.
“We are in the process of renovating the interior and will be taking bids for remodeling and should have it open in 2017,” Stone said.
The property is centrally located in Pike Road and will function as a second campus, Stone said. The longtime mayor said the town’s role as the school system grows and adds grades and students is to provide capital needs for the school board to determine how best to use.
The school started as a K-8 system in the fall of 2015 but will add a grade each year, starting this fall.
The purchase of the land and former school is another pivotal moment among many that has taken the town from a population of less than 500 citizens to about 8,000 in 2016.
“We sense a lot of enthusiasm and are very excited about what the Pike Road school system has provided for the community,” Stone said, adding that the school has helped bring people together and generated a lot of interest in Pike Road from businesses and prospective new residents. Stone said the system has been lauded for its innovative approach to learning that has brought people from different backgrounds together and pushed students to achieve. The school also has enjoyed excellent parental involvement and a coming together of school teachers and staff, many of whom met just a year ago, he said.
“We’ve been very pleased,” Stone said about the first year, adding that there will be an evaluation to make improvements.
Pike Road has grown from less than 400 people in the early 2000s to 1,300 in 2004, and then 3,800 in 2006 before crossing the 5,000 mark in 2010.
Stone said a comprehensive plan helps guide the town’s growth through such major milestones as the development of the school and opening of the Outer Loop.
He credits planning, investments in quality of life programs, an excellent municipal staff and active residents as essential to maintaining Pike Road’s character.
“What we try to do every day is to keep an eye 25 years down the road and one eye on the daily steps,” Stone said.